Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Leaders of NLC Groups Explore Legislative Priorities

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Leaders of NLC Groups Explore Legislative Priorities

Article excerpt

Key NLC leaders last week pledged support for the 2008 lobbying agenda, set by NLC's officers and affirmed by the Board of Directors in January, and made recommendations for how NLC's various committees and groups can work to promote the legislative issues important to cities and towns.

The gathering of committee, council and panel chairs and constituency group presidents in Washington, D.C., February 21-22, served to ensure that all NLC leadership groups are connected to NLC's work with Congress and the Administration. NLC President Cynthia McCollum, council member, Madison, Ala., and NLC Second Vice President Ronald O. Loveridge, mayor, Riverside, Calif., led the meeting.

"The network of NLC committees and groups is one of the most valuable tools we have in carrying out our lobbying agenda," said McCollum. "Only with the full force of NLC's membership behind us will we carry our message to Capitol Hill. I have asked each and every group to identify ways they can support our efforts."

NLC's lobbying priorities include securing continued federal funding to support local initiatives, such as transportation, public safety and energy and the environment, as well as finding solutions to the crisis in the housing market. NLC is also working to refocus federal attention on the need for immigration reform.

Activities proposed by the group ranged from collecting examples of how cities will use proposed block grant money for making energy efficiency improvements to organizing targeted outreach campaigns to key members of Congress.

On the issue of the rising rate of foreclosures, National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO) President James Mitchell Jr., council-member, Charlotte, N.C., said, "In just one development in my community built only a few years ago, 115 out of 123 homes are boarded up. …

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